Ibiza Balearic Islands
Interesting article about the north and east coast of Ibiza.
Regions of Ibiza - The North and East Coast
Ibiza North and East Coast - The most northerly resort on the island is Portinatx, now purely a holiday resort aimed at the lucrative tourist industry, you will find little of the traditional Ibiza here, however it is still one of the most popular resorts on the island and the thousands who flock here each year are attracted by its four fine beaches, the largest of which is S’Arenal Gros, the others being S’Arenal Petit, Sa Torre and Es Portitxol. To get away from the crowded resort you can head for the beautiful beach of Cala Xarraca, which is 2 miles west of Portinatx, its claim to fame being that it was the setting for the film ‘South Pacific’. An even more secluded beach can be found at Cala d’en Serra, surrounded by fragrant pine forests, it cannot be fully accessed by car, so expect a walk of at least 200 metres, you will be rewarded with a super beach in a beautiful horseshoe shaped bay, surrounded by pine-clad cliffs.
South and inland from Portinatx is the little town of Sant Joan de Labritja, with a resident population of just 400, it has its own Town Hall, and is in fact the primary town of a municipality which cover almost one third of the island of Ibiza. Sant Joan attracted hordes of hippies during the 1960’s, and a large hippy community grew up here. Worth a visit in Sant Joan de Labritja is the 18th century parish church and the aforementioned Town Hall.
Nearby and also worth a visit is the village of Sant Miguel de Balansat, which boasts a magnificent fortified church dating from the 16th century. Further inland still is the village of Sant Llorenç de Batàifa, up to the 16th century one of the only significant inland settlements on the island. The name ‘Batàifa’ derives from the Arabic “health giving spring”, no doubt giving a clue as to its ancient origins, it became a fortified settlement with a medieval watchtower, built to warn of attacks by Barbary pirates.
Heading east to the coast, brings you to the third largest town and resort on the island, Santa Eulària des Riu (better known as Santa Eulalia), lying on the banks of Ibiza’s only river, this attractive town has a resident population of around 14,000 and is a popular family resort, somewhat more peaceful and laid back than its larger counterparts, Ibiza Town and San Antonio. Apart from the beach and the nightlife, visitors will find plenty of interest in Santa Eulalia including the 16th century fortified church, which stands at the top of the impressive Puig d’en Missa, one of Ibiza’s most important fortified settlements, the attractive Town Hall in the Plaça de Espanya, the Museu Ethnològic (Puig d’en Missa) and the Museu Barrau (Puig d’en Missa). Most visitors to Santa Eulalia, at some point, head for the renowned hippy market at Punta Arabi (Es Cana), probably the most famous market on the island, expect large crowds here especially during the summer season.
Santa Eulalia provides a great base for touring the rest of the island and from here you can take a boat trip to the hippy market or to the nearby beaches of Cala Llonga and Cala Pada, take a bus to Ibiza Town or San Antonio, take enjoyable walks along the attractive coastline, or hire a car and visit some interesting inland towns and villages. When the weather is not so hot, you can jump in the car and head a little further afield.
Written by Steve Locke.
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